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Mourinho reserves special praise for Didier Drogba after Tottenham win

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Didier Drogba turned back the clock Wednesday night, much to Spurs' chagrin and much to our delight.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Let's gush a bit more about Old Man Drogba, shall we?

On the day he scored his 162nd career Chelsea goal and got his 88th career Chelsea assist -- hey, that adds up to a nice milestone! -- many questioned the manager's decision to start with the veteran over ostensibly second-choice Loïc Rémy.  Despite The Big Man's record against big teams, against big rivals, in big games, on big occasions when the floodlights shine brightest, he is roughly 300 years old and surely can't have much left, right?

Wrong.

"He's remarkable. You know ... first of all he's a team player. He's a team player. After that, he's got one of these ‘old-days' mentalities: not selfish, not vain, a humble guy who plays and fights for the team. Fantastic. When he is on the bench and comes on for the last few minutes because the team needs someone to hold the ball up or to defend set-pieces, he does that with the same enthusiasm and spirit as he does when he starts a game against Tottenham."

Of course, Mourinho's not really surprised by any of this.  Mourinho knows.  He always knows.

"[My team] played against him when I was at Real Madrid and also with Chelsea, last year, so I could feel the kind of potential he still has. I was expecting exactly this [impact]. And there was not even a doubt in my mind about a player who would not be playing every game like before [in his first eight-year spell at the club]. I knew that, from a mental point of view, he would adapt very well to this role, which is so important in the team."

But surely we can't expect him to go on forever.  After all, we do have Rémy locked up for four years and he is more than capable as well (and scored on Wednesday, too).

"The important thing is he is here and will finish his career with Chelsea. It looks, for me, that he's going to stay doing other things when he finishes his career. I don't know if this will be his last season as a player. It must be his decision. He came here to stay, I want him to stay, the club want him to stay. It will be his decision when he decides when he must stop as a player. Something personal."

When he left in 2012, Drogba famously said that one day he'll come back, even if just to mow the grass in Stamford Bridge.  I think I like the current version of this story much better.